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Old 10-12-2009, 02:31 AM   #1
va4ngo
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Default An Unusual Steam Engine from Live steam magazine Oct 1977

Work on this engine started some time ago (more than 15 years) and I had only had made the piston as a trial when I had no other projects underway.
After a 15 year rest and being inspired by this forum, I once again commenced work on the project.

All work is now being carried out on the following equipment

Hercus ATM 260 lathe ( ex school lathe) ( No milling attachment)
Waldown Drill press probably post war era with large 4" machine vise
Drive plate for lathe with many 6mm holes for mounting (I dont yet own a faceplate)
Home made vernier height gauge
Home made Tailstick dieholder
Home made centre finder
Vice, hand tools and files

This engine is based on drawings in an old book, "The Steam Engine" by Robert Scott Burn published in London in 1854, and published in live steam magazine in October 1977, by Robert S Hedin.
The engine is unusual in that it has one piston rotating and oscillating in a rectangular cylinder. The engine comprises 4 conrods, several links
and a sliding rod valve inside a housing. Most parts are brass with the baseplate made from 1/4" aluminium. Piston is steel and Special screws are made from Stainless steel.

Here is shown the baseplate simply cut with a hacksaw from a flat Aluminium plate.
The base was then squared in the lathe, mounting holes were marked then holes drilled in the drill press.

In the background is the piston with exhaust openings and also a number of brass spacers.



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Old 10-12-2009, 02:36 AM   #2
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Default Re: An Unusual Steam Engine from Live steam magazine Oct 1977

I'd like to know more about this engine. Any pics?



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Old 10-12-2009, 02:58 AM   #3
va4ngo
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Default Re: An Unusual Steam Engine from Live steam magazine Oct 1977

Here I am about make three parts from round stock, the valve bracket, flywheel bearing and valve block
The parts were marked out and placed in three jaw. Parting tool was used to set location of all shoulders using a vernier caliper depth stop marking off from the parting tool and end of job
After marking the part is set up in four jaw for squaring off. I did not have any rectangular bar stock hence the reason for making from round stock. In retrospect, I would try to buy rectangular stock as it took more than an hour to square off the round stock.

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Old 10-12-2009, 03:00 AM   #4
va4ngo
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Default Re: An Unusual Steam Engine from Live steam magazine Oct 1977

Here the part has been squared off in the 4 jaw and ready for making the valve bracket in next step

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Old 10-12-2009, 03:04 AM   #5
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Default Re: An Unusual Steam Engine from Live steam magazine Oct 1977

Here the valve bracket is marked out and roughed out using a hacksaw set up in the vice.
After filing to size, the valve bracket is complete.

All my marking out is done with a home made vernier height gauge which I made some 30 years ago.
At that time, I had access to a milling attachment for the hercus lathe Unfortunately I no longer have a milling attachment. The height gauge has had very little use until now.
This forum has certainly encouraged and inspired me to commence work on engines again.

The height gauge is made from mild steel and requires only a small modification to the vernier, a very small notch used to hold the marking part of gauge.

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Old 10-12-2009, 03:08 AM   #6
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Default Re: An Unusual Steam Engine from Live steam magazine Oct 1977

The 2 lever arms were made marked off on the end of a round rod, drilled in drill press and filed to shape and eventually parted to 0.06" thickness in the 3 jaw.

Here you can also see the home made vernier height gauge in use. I have found this to be a very useful item for reasonably accurate measurement and is well worth the effort to build.

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Old 10-12-2009, 03:23 AM   #7
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Default Re: An Unusual Steam Engine from Live steam magazine Oct 1977

Here is the inlet valve connnection also a simple turning job also from the rectangular (forgot this piece in original so had to square off another piece_ very time consuming)

Zee I dont have any completed pictures as this is a works in progress even though well advanced)
Next the flywheel bearing is cut from the rectangular block, bearing position marked, drilled for the bearing housing and a rod pressed and loctited in to place.
The hole for the bearing will be added later. I dont have a build instruction for this engine.

Then mounted on baseplate. The two mounting holes for the crankshaft bearing were badly misaligned so I relocated the two holes transversely instead of longitudinally as there was ample material in place to do this. I do not like making a part twice so where I can, I will salvage parts and rework as necessary to fully make good a damaged part.

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Old 10-12-2009, 03:39 AM   #8
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Default Re: An Unusual Steam Engine from Live steam magazine Oct 1977

Next I am making the valve body. Originally started making this on Drive plate and got so carried away that I drilled right through body (after having reamed very accurately for the valve body) but was able to salvage part by inserting a brass rod and parting the excess away. (refer 2nd photo where round rod is protruding from square body)

Next (3rd photo) I milled the slot for steam passages. This was done in drill press by progressively moving the part along a guide in the drill press, clamping down and using a very small end mill to 1.5mm depth. It took about 15 progressive movements of part, reclamping and remilling to complete the slot. The two guides are at rear of valve block. I am uncertain how well this will allow steam to flow along slot as the slot is rough on edges of milled slot. I can clean up with a file on end but suspect this will be very difficult as I will be filing in to a blind hole.

The valve block is now almost completed, just requires mounting and exhaust holes. The valve was a simple turning job in 3 jaw and is shown fitted into valve body with top cover also fitted. I made a cosmetic change to top cover and secured it with 4 screws instead of silver solder.

The last photo shows the valve fitted to the the valve block temporarily. Note the use of small pins used to hold inlet connection in place. These pins are stainless steel welding rod 1.6mm diameter which coincidentally is the correct size for tapping a 2mm hole in valve body. The inlet holes will be opened up after tapping the holes

All the parts to date are of Brass. Baseplate is 1/4" aluminium. Special screws for lever arms and links are being made from stainless steel turned in the lathe and tapped 2mm and are a simple turning and threading job using the home made die holder held in the tailstock of the lathe with gentle hand feel for threading I did not use any coolant or Rocol when threading the 2mm screws.

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Old 10-12-2009, 03:56 AM   #9
va4ngo
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Default Re: An Unusual Steam Engine from Live steam magazine Oct 1977

This part was required for the end of valve.
Marked out and firstly drilled and tapped a M2 thread then drilled the cross hole and finally filed to shape.

Small parts are hard on the eyes but great to see mounting up

Here you see the name of one of our Australian abrasive suppliers and a comparison with a 5 cent piece (I think you call them a dime? )

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Lathe:-Hercus ATM260.
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Old 10-12-2009, 04:05 AM   #10
va4ngo
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Default Re: An Unusual Steam Engine from Live steam magazine Oct 1977

The eccentric strap was made in both the Drive plate and 4 jaw.
First the 1/2" hole was drilled in 4 jaw then the smaller hole (for a change only) in the driveplate.

Then filing in vice and finish



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Bench Drill older than me
Home made height gauge

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